Marijuana legalization throwdown tonight at Western Connecticut State University

The Midwestern Connecticut Council of Alcoholism Inc. tonight is hosting a debate on the future of marijuana. The event, called “Pot or Not,” will convene at 7pm at the Ives Concert Hall on White Street in Danbury. The local Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring it.

Here is the MCCA’s news release:

“The decriminalization, medical marijuana and legalization debates are at the fore of American public debate. Free and open the public, the debate is an opportunity for the public to hear both sides of this controversial issue.

The tide is turning on the use and acceptance of marijuana and public opinion appears to be favoring medical use and decriminalization. Connecticut recently joined the growing list of states that have legalized marijuana for medical use and several states—Washington and Colorado—have legalized it for adult use. Yet under federal law, marijuana is still a Schedule 1 controlled substance adding to the controversy.

For every argument in favor of legalization, decriminalization, or medical use there are arguments against them. Some argue that legalizing marijuana would lower the criminal impact on funding of criminal organizations such as the Mexican cartel. Others argue that putting marijuana in the hands of corporations – who market to teens – would be just as harmful. There are differing views within the medical field, a battle over the economic impact, as well as the impact of criminal activity.

Dr. Jeffrey Reynolds, who will be debating against legalization stated that, “There seems to be a growing acceptance of marijuana legalization, yet the public hasn’t been properly educated about the costs related to the drug’s impact on young people, impaired driving, the workplace and local economies.”  Reynolds added,  “What seems like an ideological debate led by Big Marijuana and their legalization advocates, will have real-life consequences for families, schools and entire communities.”

Debating in favor of reformed marijuana laws, Erik Williams said, “The American public has come to the rightful conclusion that the Drug War has been an abject failure and they are upset at the 40 years of taxpayer-funded lies.” Williams continued, “They crave honest discussion absent of fear or conjecture. When given the truth and the facts, Americans overwhelmingly support marijuana law reform. I’m looking forward to the opportunity to forward that conversation.”

As the hot topic of marijuana makes its way into conversations around the country, the amount of available information keeps on growing, however there is not a lot of consistency. Pot or Not will provide an opportunity for business owners, parents, civic leaders, healthcare professionals, law enforcement, social workers, mental health care professionals, and educators to hear both sides of this important issue.

RSVP: 203-244-5336 or go to

The Debaters

Jeffrey L. Reynolds, Ph.D., Executive Director from LICADD (Long Island Council of Alcoholism and Drug Dependence) and Erik Williams, Executive Director of the Connecticut Chapter of Norml will go head-to-head on the issue, each sharing in-depth knowledge on this topic with the public.

 The Moderator

Terrie Wood, CT State Representative will be the moderator for the debate. Wood is serving her 3rd term as State Representative for Darien and Norwalk. She currently serves as ranking member on the Human Services committee, and also serves on the Regulations Review and Appropriations committees. Ms. Wood served on the Regulations Review Committee for Medical Marijuana in the state of Connecticut.”